Dynamic ocular thermography
The ability to measure ocular surface temperature (OST) with thermal imaging offers potential insight into ocular physiology that has been acknowledged in the literature. The TH7102MX thermo-camera (NEC San-ei, Japan) continuously records dynamic information about OST without sacrificing spatial resolution. Using purpose-designed image analysis software, it was possible to select and quantify the principal components of absolute temperature values and the magnitude plus rate of temperature change that followed blinking. The techniques was examined for repeatability, reproducibility and the effects of extrinsic factors: a suitable experimental protocol was thus developed. The precise source of the measured thermal radiation has previously been subject toe dispute: in this thesis, the results of a study examining the relationships between physical parameters of the anterior eye and OST, confirmed a principal role for the tear film in OST. The dynamic changes in OST were studied in a large group of young subjects: quantifying the post-blink changes in temperature with time also established a role for tear flow dynamics in OST. Using dynamic thermography, the effects of hydrogel contact lens wear on OST were investigated: a model eye for in vivo work, and both neophyte and adapted contact lens wearers for in vivo studies. Significantly greater OST was observed in contact lens wearers, particularly with silicone hydrogel lenses compared to etafilcon A, and tended to be greatest when lenses had been worn continuously. This finding is important to understanding the ocular response to contact lens wear. In a group of normal subjects, dynamic thermography appeared to measure the ocular response to the application of artificial tear drops: this may prove to be a significant research and clinical tool.